Winter officially started this month, are you ready…ready to turn up the heat?
It is hard enough to keep fit in the summer months, so with the days getting shorter, the evenings colder & the nights wetter, how are you supposed to get up and get moving? The first hurdle is to get motivated, which is easier said than done when your alarm clock goes off and the streetlights are still on. Try keeping your runners or gym bag by the front door. Often it’s the hassle of having to think about it that puts people off.
Research suggests that the winter months require most of us to up the level of our activity, simply because the cold persuades us to cut back on a whole raft of simple-but-effective calorie-burning activities, such as walking to the shops or doing the gardening. A recent case in the Medical Journal of Australia showed physical inactivity is associated with almost twice the risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD), plus, there are good psychological reasons for staying fit as well. “SAD (seasonal effective disorder) is the most common form of depression and it affects many people at this time of year,” So regular moderate exercise releases essential endorphins to keep the blues at bay.
Jogging remains popular, but the weather means you have to plan more carefully than you did during the summer months. Warm up before you head out, take three layers – one to absorb sweat, one for insulation, and one to protect you from the elements – and if the wind is up, run into it on the way out and with it on the way back. But there are problems. Slippery pavements can be especially hazardous in the dark, and not everyone feels safe jogging alone. There is also the risk of coming down with a cold if you sweat and are not insulated properly. If you’ve got indoor training options, then this can help you avoid some of these hazards!